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3/19 - Thoughts On The Following


Guest Hunter's Torn Quad
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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

Not a big group this time, so we don't go through everyone too soon.

 

Mick Foley

Roddy Piper

Randy Savage

The Midnight Express (Eaton and Condrey and Eaton and Lane)

 

I shall give my two cents later.

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

Mick Foley - Best. Promos. Ever.

 

I don't think anyone -not Flair, not Austin, not Anderson, not Rock, not Cornette- has been as good as Foley. In terms of content, delivery, depth, structure, variety; Foley trumps them all. He can -and has- made me come the closest to believing it was real through his promos.

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Guest Some Guy

Mick Foley - Very good promo guy for the most part and a decent worker who was willing to kill himself for the fans. It's too bad that he had to take a 16ft fall foloowed up by a 12' one to finally be allowed to let his personality out. It was his goofy Mankind persona that got him over as a money drawing worker. He was always 3rd fiddle behind Austin and Rock, but ebing 3rd to them is not anything to be ashamed of. He also wrote 2 1/2 good books.

 

Roddy Piper - The only good match I;ve seen with Piper is the WM 8 one with Bret. The chain match at Starcade was really just brutality. He was a great talker adn was very funny in his prime, unfortunately he has lost his fucking mind and his sense of humor is still stuck in the 80s. It's kind of strange that a guy who was ahead of his time in terms of promos in the 80s had the business pass him by so quickly by the late 90s.

 

Randy Savage - I love Savage. He is the most intense worker I've ever seen. The guy was always like a coiled spring (to steal Cornette's term). His jabs and punches were awesome and he did highspots that no one in WWF has ever done before. Great overall performer.

 

The Midnight Express (Eaton and Condrey and Eaton and Lane) - I unfortunately haven't seen a whole lot of either version of the team but the stuff I've seen of the latter version is very good. Their match against the Young Pistols at GAB 90 or Capital Combat 90 (can't remember which) is awesome tag team wrestling.

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Mick Foley - One of the two best interview guys in wrestling history, and probably the best actor in wrestling history. Was as good as he needed to be to be effective in the ring, and was far more capable than his brawling style would suggest. Pulling a chain wrestling sequence out of nowhere against Shawn Michaels at Mind Games was a huge markout moment for me. He has a downside, in that I think it's partially his fault wrestlers have felt they had to take huge and unnecessary bumps to get a pop. I think he's respected for what he's accomplished, but I don't think of him falling off of a cage when I think of him. I think of his ability to get inside the mind of the wrestling fan, and I think when it comes down to it, that's what made him a success. It's sad that his body gave out when he just started to peak as a draw.

 

Roddy Piper - Hell of a brawler with more wild road stories than almost anyone, I'd imagine. I love the story about how he was traded to Vince Sr. in the late 70s, Vince took a look at his skinny frame, and immediately sent him packing. He ended up going everywhere, primarily Mid Atlantic, where he became a major draw, both as a face and a heel, before coming full circle and being the #2 key player in the WWF's national expansion. He's a sad site to see these days, but he's been very influential and has had a strong impact.

 

Randy Savage - An all-time favorite of mine, and I loved how in his feud with Hogan, he was in the right yet Hogan was the one getting cheered anyway. Actually, I hated it, but I've grown to love it since then. It's a shame he spent his formative years blacklisted from most territories because his dad ran an outlaw territory, because he was way too talented to not be given a chance to strut his stuff out of spite. Injuries and drugs would eventually have their way with him, and he's definitely a glowing example of what happens when the excesses go both right and wrong in pro wrestling -- he's gone through divorce, he's seen his stock rise and fall multiple times, he's made a killing and headlined countless big shows and he's now having financial problems. Go figure.

 

Midnight Express - Eaton and Lane and Eaton and Condrey are the two best tag teams in the history of American wrestling. Eaton and Condrey were better at getting heat while Eaton and Lane had more exciting offense, so basically, pick your poison on which team was better. I'm a huge fan of both, and I have more comps of MX matches than any other wrestler(s).

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Guest Some Guy

Savage is having financial problem? I hadn't heard that. I guess it explains the rapping and what not. He made a ton of money in wrestling, what the fuck did he blow it on?

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Mick Foley: Even though he was an asshole about it, I always thought Flair was basically right about Foley: he does some of the best promo work ever but he got over because he took violent bumps. Yes Foley was more than a fat guy falling off stuff, but people who act like he would have been a superstar without the crazy bumps are just fooling themselves.

 

Roddy Piper: His importance to the WWF is criminally underrated. Would Hulkamania have blown up without someone capable like Piper as the foil? Yeah, he probably would, but feuding with Piper gave Hogan the avenue to rocket to the top. He also managed to be the only heel working for the WWF in the 80s who never jobbed clean to Hogan, and if you watched the Hulk Still Rules DVD you know that pissed him off. Gotta love that.

 

Randy Savage: Judging by the stories of his paranoia, he might have had a looser grip on reality than even the Warrior had. One of the all time greats who spent pretty much all of his career in Hogan's shadow. Even when the dinosaurs invaded WCW, Savage was the only 40+ guy who could still go. His angles with Steamboat, Flair, and even Hogan really, were miles above the cartoony stuff that was the norm for the WWF at the time.

 

The Midnight Express: To be honest, I thought the Eaton/Condrey team was kinda blah. Eaton/Lane is my favorite tag team of all time. My goal when I was little was to win the NWA US Tag titles because that was the belts the Midnight Express had. Their matches with the Rock n' Rolls defined the art of tag team wrestling as we know it.

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

I think you guys are short-changing Foley here. Yes, he made his name bumping, BUT if the fans didn't CARE about him then the bumps would not have mattered. There are tons of crazy spots on the indy scene that I have seen, but it never went beyond "Holy SHIT"! *Emotionally* that HIAC match is AMAZING. What made it great wasn't that Foley fell off the cage, it was that he GOT UP and continued to fight.

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People have this romaticized view of Foley because he cut great promos and seems to be a real-life nice guy (a rarity in wrestling, it would appear). Just because Flair is an asshole about it doesn't change the fact that he got over by being a great bumper with promo skills. Hell, HBK did the same thing. There's nothing wrong with that, it made the guy a lot of money. What bothers me is that there was a period of time (especially when he was in Japan) where it seemed all he could do was just keep raising the bar with the deathmatches and crazy spots. I don't see how getting barbed wire and thumbtacks stuck in your flesh advances the business.

 

The fact that he's come out against backyard wrestlers when the WWF couldn't stop showing that footage of him jumping off the roof kinda irked me too. Not that I have any admiration for the yardtards, but to act all sanctimonious when most of them got their inspiration from you is the kind of chutzpah seldom seen outside of Congress.

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

Mick Foley was able to connect, perhaps more than any other wrestler in North America, on an EMOTIONAL LEVEL. Unfortunately, his influence has been mostly very negative.

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Guest Some Guy

I think you guys are short-changing Foley here.  Yes, he made his name bumping, BUT if the fans didn't CARE about him then the bumps would not have mattered.  There are tons of crazy spots on the indy scene that I have seen, but it never went beyond "Holy SHIT"!  *Emotionally* that HIAC match is AMAZING.  What made it great wasn't that Foley fell off the cage, it was that he GOT UP and continued to fight.

Just about anybody who took those bumps and got up from them would have had the emotions of the audience. Foley was a great promo guy but that didn't really come out until after he couldn't take as many bumps. I think Foley undersold a lot of the bumps he took, the Nestea Plunge is a fucking brutal and he would use it as a transition move. As Loss and Sek and others said he raised the bar way too high for bumps and just in the last couple of years have they calmed them down because of all the neck injuries. But, I think it was how much he bumped and how it was sold that cause the problem. IF Foley can take a 2 ten' plus bumps off a cage and get up and then it kind of makes a guy taking a superplex and getting pinned look like shit. That HiaC match should have ended after the first bump, the second one and the thumbtacks were unnecessary. It's kind of funny that a lot of the younger guys like to pattern themselves after Foley and HBK, who are two guys who's careers were ended by working that style and it took fusioin surgery and 4 years for Shawn to come back to work a much safer style.
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Mick Foley - I am a huge Foley mark. I won't lie about that but I see both sides of the argument. Foley taking unprotected chairshots and falls off and through the cage did not help the business in any aspect. However, in ECW, in the Japanese Death match tourney, in WWE, in ROH, his promo skills are gold. I think Foley sells a match better than Flair. I think Foley sounds more reasonable than Flair. I think he is funnier than nearl every other promo guy out there. I think the reason he connects so well with the audience is the appearance that he is just a regular guy who is a masochistic screwball.

 

Roddy Piper - A rambling nut but a personal favorite. I loved Piper as a kid. I like listening to him talk now just because the guy is insane. I think I was gwenuinely sad after watching the My Way Video when he "retired". When he beat Adonis at WM3, it ranks as one of my favorite WM moments.

 

Randy Savage - Another personal favorite. In early Rock N' Wrestling era WWF, Savage was the man. As stated before, his feuds were always more interesting than the top Hogan feuds (save for maybe Andre). He also has had the best Mania matches of the first few years (Steamboat, Flair, Warrior, Hogan, Dibiase). Those matches were saved by Randy's ring savvy (except the Steamer match) and I ive him his props. I don't really care about his WCW stay but I will say this... the top-rope elbow is one of those moves that simply seemed outdated in the nWo/Attitude era.

 

Midnight Express - When I think Midnight Express, I think Eaton-Condrey. My strongest support for the NWA came during their run and I hated them with a passion. That is more indicative of Cornette's ability to garner heel heat. However, unlike my hatred for Tully Blanchard that I still hold to this day, I now appeciate and embrace Corny's routine. I need to see more Eaton-Lane matches and more oftheir feuds with the Fantastics, RnR's etc. I have a feeling Loss is going to help me out with that.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

Mick Foley: His debut as Mankind was my first exposure to him since I rarely watched WCW and never watched ECW programming. Even at 11-years-old, he scared the hell out of me. His versatility was one of the main reasons I think the WWF soared during the late 1990s. One of the few legitmate good guys in the business and I was always happy to see him on my TV. I honestly can't remember ever disliking any of his promos.

 

Roddy Piper: I didn't really "get" him as a kid, but like Jake Roberts, my eyes have been opened as I've aged in regards to how talented a speaker he was. I didn't care for his in-ring work, but anything he cut as a heel was worth rewatching.

 

Randy Savage: Certified nuts. Even as a face he seemed like he was on the brink of breaking down. Was a superb performer, but only when it mattered. Looking at his best work, you knew he could go; it was just a matter of him being motivated enough. Unfortunately, there were too many occassions in which I thought he phoned in his matches.

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